Tuesday, April 6, 2010

#14: That Funny Feeling

Starring: Sandra Dee, Bobby Darin
Dir: Richard Thorpe (1965)

Bad: Not much! This movie doesn't pretend to be anything it's not, so how can it miss?
Good: It's just as charming and adorable as it can possibly be! Seeing Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee together is always fun - you can sometimes catch little gestures and moments that appear unscripted between them. I also loved Donald O'Connor in this, because he will always be hilarious to me... even if he is a dork... because I am a dork! (And I find other dorks appealing.)

Summary: To compare it to the last fluffy, innuendo-filled '60s comedy I watched, I'd say this wasn't as good. The laughs weren't as consistent, and the plot was just as implausible, only less entertaining to watch as it unfolded. But I still liked it, though -- I'm going to keep plugging away at the Sandra/Bobby subgenre for a while and see what else turns up. I have faith!

Stars: 3 of 5

Sunday, April 4, 2010

#13: Pagan Love Song

Starring: Esther Williams, Howard Keel
Dir: Robert Alton (1950)

Booooooo the Esther Williams vehicle! She was MGM's top star at one point perhaps, but it's no mystery why her movies didn't stand the test of time like others'. Too much time spent trying to make her water ballets moderately plausible plot-wise (thank god for the "dream sequence" cop-out) and not enough time writing decent songs for the AMAZINGLY TALENTED AND WONDERFUL Howard Keel to sing!!
Good: (Note: I've been flipping the bad/good order back and forth, but this deserves to end on "bad.") Obviously Howard Keel. I watched this movie with my grandmother, who also is in love with HK (and Dana Andrews, too -- it must be genetic!), so we suffered proudly through all 80 minutes in his name alone. This was my first time seeing Howard shirtless - kudos to this movie for including a scene with him in Dr. N0-esque short-shorts, biking and singing on a beach. What a stud!
Bad: The music was HORRIBLE. Also, they spent too much money on Esther's swimsuits and not enough on Howard's wardrobe - he spent 99% of the movie in the same stupid linen suit. Come on!! Also, the poor (attractive) man had to play a totally unattractive character... what a waste. The plot was fluffy and lame, half the Islanders were white boys with bronzer (remind anyone of West Side Story?), and Rita Moreno didn't even get to dance! Ugh.

Summary: I should be fair and say that Esther Williams' acting was not as bad as I'd expected. She was kind of endearing and pretty and all that, and she played her character well (an unaffected, easygoing island girl-type), but I just kept remembering how obnoxious she was in her autobiography. (So I only read like fifty pages, but still, she had a monster ego. Hard to ignore.) Plus I kind of felt like her biceps kept punching me in the eye with their hugeness...
Overall - an interesting, kitschy relic of moving Esther cheesecake. If only Howard had been given the same treatment.

Stars: 1.5 of 5

*my OCD self has to admit that I saw this before That Touch of Mink, but forgot to post both until today and did them in the wrong order... so chronologically this is actually #12. okay crazy self out.

#12: That Touch of Mink

Starring: Cary Grant, Doris Day
Dir: Delbert Mann (1962)

Hoorah! Kat told me when I checked out this movie that it was terrible and the stars had no chemistry and Cary Grant was too old, but she was WRONG! I loved it. It was that perfect blend of sexy and not sexy that only a movie starring Doris Day opposite a man can produce.
Good: Can we just say once and for all that Cary Grant's sex appeal does NOT have an expiration date?? Thank you! Ooh: I have a theory too that some of Cary Grant's lines/actions are ad-libbed in this movie, because there were a few scenes where he would say something bizarre and funny exactly before a fade out. I don't know... some of his comments just didn't seem scripted. Kat noticed it too (like when he throws a candy to Gig Young and teases him - "Why don't you take the wrapper off first. There, it's better that way, isn't it?"). I also loved all the little dirty jokes and innuendos (minus some of the painfully dated jabs at homosexuals) because they were adorable.

Cathy: "Oh, I love sunken baths! You'd always find me in it! -- ...I didn't mean it like that -"
Philip: "I know you didn't. But let's not rule out the possibility."

Bad: Okay, so they didn't have fantastic sexual chemistry. But they looked like they were having fun at least!

Summary: It was bubbly and energetic and full of virginal Doris and playboy Cary and all the wonderful things in life - even a sneaky joke about her marrying Rock Hudson! So what's not to LOVE??

Stars: 4 of 5

#11: Boomerang!

Starring: Dana Andrews
Dir: Elia Kazan (1947)

So I watched this a while ago and have been too lazy to post it on here, shame on me! I remember liking it... I think...
Good: I liked it! It had Dana Andrews in it...
No, to be fair, I just liked it. I liked watching him interact with his wife even though it was kind of laughable because everyone knows he's married to me. But, you know, they pay him to act, so - well done, Dana.
It was interesting to see him be all caught up in this moral dilemma because I'm more used to seeing him brooding about something. I guess this follows the Ox-Bow trend of making me slightly uncomfortable with him - I'm used to seeing him play characters with a bit of an edge, not Wholesome Through-and-Through types. As far as the film overall, though... I'm generally a fan of legal dramas so I enjoyed that aspect of it. Also, despite the fact that the internet has nothing on it, I am ONE HUNDRED PERCENT POSITIVE that Arthur Kennedy is Donald Sutherland's father. They look exactly the same. I will prove this one day if it takes everything I have.
Bad: Eh nothing.

Summary: So obviously it wasn't that memorable, which is kind of my bad because I'm forgetful and also partly due to the fact that the movie isn't very exciting. A lot happens and I guess it's dramatic, but it didn't really make an impression... at least on me.
(Minus Dana Andrews and everything he ever says or does. I mean, I do kind of notice that sort of thing automatically.)

Stars: 2.5 of 5, rounding up to 3 in all scenes including Dana